Chennai - Post Report Question and Answers

Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?

One of the best parts about India is their digital payment system. Most places accepted my US credit cards. If not, GPay in India is simple and easy to use. Never carried cash, was never needed. Didn't use an ATM once, but others did and seemed to have no issue. - Jan 2024

Several time fraud on my credit cards. Hard to use cards here. - May 2023

No, no, no India has not got its act together with international cards. Either an Indian card or cash. - Apr 2023

India is a hard place to use international credit cards. No one seems to understand why, including your own bank or credit card company. So the consulate helped staff to open local Indian bank accounts because India cannot get their act together to use international credit cards. - Apr 2023

Recommended to open a local bank account and use a local debit card. International debit cards usually don't work and if you credit card charges fees for overseas use it's better to have something local. - Aug 2021

You will need to get a local bank account. U.S. cards are accepted in a lot of places but don't work in many places. It's kind of a pain to set up the account but the B&F folks make the process much easier. - Apr 2021

Yes, however it is best to get a local bank account to really be able to function. - May 2019

I use ATMs and credit cards. Amex seems to work best online. Be sure your cards do not have international transaction fees. Also be wary of businesses offering "dynamic foreign exchange" - which is a total scam; just pay in local currency never choose dollars or Euros. - Aug 2018

Most stores and restaurants that expats frequent accept U.S. credit cards. We've used ours often with no security issues. Most online Indian vendors (movie tickets, sports tickets, food delivery, etc.) only accept Indian credit cards. The consulate will help you apply for one if interested. We didn't do this and have been fine using cash, etc. There's an ATM at the consulate and at reputable banks around town; we've found them safe to use but primarily get money from the consulate cashier. - May 2018

I didn't do it often, but had no issues. - May 2016

Not nearly as difficult as I had expected. Credit cards are widely accepted. Sometimes online retailers don't accept non-Indian-issued credit cards, but most brick-and-mortar stores take MasterCard and Visa, and sometimes Amex. - May 2016

ATMs are ubiquitous. Credit cards are accepted everywhere and not unsafe to use. - May 2015

Big stores take credit cards, and we only used the ATM machine at the Consulate and cashed checks at the Consulate cashier. We have heard some Consulate people had their credit card information was stolen, so we tried not to use credit card. - Mar 2015

Credit cards were OK at the big hotels. Mostly cashed checks at the consulate and used cash whenever possible. Only used the ATM at the consulate. - Oct 2014

ATM's exist and I did not have problems with credit cards. - Oct 2014

No problem; Citbank ATMs are around the city and safe and easy to use. No problem with credit cards. - Jun 2014

We use cash most of the time, and sometimes we use credit cards. We are careful about where we use cards. ATMs are generally fine. - May 2014

I use my credit card and ATMs throughout the city. However, the best exchange rate is cashing a check at the Consulate. I haven't had any issues, but I know a few people who have had their information compromised. - Aug 2013

Places that cater to foreigners usually take credit cards, but don't expect that they will everywhere. - Jul 2012

The ATMs at one or two banks still don't like my U.S. bank's ATM card. - Aug 2011

I had no problems using ATMs. It is a cash based society so we paid for everything in cash although the locals would use debit and credit cards even at the grocery store. But all your markets and local stands are cash only and small bills. - Jun 2010

No problem. - Sep 2009

Never had any problems. - Mar 2009

The bigger stores will take them. I've not heard of any credit card thefts or scams. - Aug 2008

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